Brokered Truck Rates Slip

Brokered Truck Rates Slip

Trucking yield and rates aren't rising as quickly as demand despite a surge in freight volume on highways in the first quarter, according to new figures on the trucking market.

The average revenue per highway load brokered by intermodal marketing companies increased year-over-year in February and March, according to the Intermodal Association of North America. But the same revenue figure dropped month-to-month in February and March, suggesting trucking companies are having trouble raising rates off last year's price floor despite stronger demand for their services.

The average revenue per highway load brokered to truckers by intermodal marketing companies was up 3.2 percent from a year ago in March, according to IANA. That followed a 0.2 percent year-over-year increase in February.

When compared with the previous month, however, that average fell 2.7 percent in March to its lowest level since last June, according to IANA. That's a moderate improvement from a 3.6 percent month-to-month drop in February.

Average revenue per highway load slid from $1,247 in January to $1,168 in March.

The explanation for the slide could lie in the cyclical nature of contract and pricing negotiations. Many trucking companies are still locked into lower rates negotiated in the second and third quarter of 2009. They're expected to push for higher rates as those contracts come up for bid.

-- Contact William B. Cassidy at wcassidy@joc.com.